Robert J.K. Jacob
Dept. of Computer Science
161 College Avenue
Medford, MA 02155 U.S.A.
Normally Wednesdays, 3:15 p.m.
Robert Jacob is a Professor of Computer Science at Tufts University, where his research interests are new interaction modes and techniques and user interface software; his current work focuses on implicit brain-computer interfaces. He has been a visiting professor at the University College London Interaction Centre, Universite Paris-Sud, and the MIT Media Laboratory. Before coming to Tufts, he was in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the Naval Research Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, and he is a member of the editorial board for the journal Human-Computer Interaction and a founding member for ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction. He has served as Vice-President of ACM SIGCHI, Papers Co-Chair of the CHI and UIST conferences, and General Co-Chair of UIST and TEI. He was elected as a member of the ACM CHI Academy in 2007 and as an ACM Fellow in 2016.
The current focus in my research group is on
a new generation of brain-computer interfaces.
Brain-computer interaction has made dramatic progress in recent
years, but its main application to date has been for physically
disabled users. Our
research in real-time measurement and machine learning
classification of functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) brain
data leads us to develop, use, and evaluate
brain measurement as input to adaptable user interfaces for the larger
We are using brain input as a way to obtain more
information about the user and their context in an effortless and
direct way from their brain activity.
We then use it to adapt the user interface in real time.
We are creating and studying
these new user interfaces, with emphasis on domains where we can measure their efficacy.
We are now also broadening this work to include other forms of lightweight,
passive, real-time adaptive user interfaces,
based on physiological or other measurements.
Our focus continues to be on the
design of subtle and effective interfaces
that make judicious use of the measurements we can obtain.
Papers, Talks, etc
- Papers with links to electronic versions of recent ones
- Talks and other presentations
- Professional activities
- Elected as ACM Fellow 2016
- CHI 2016 paper on brain-computer interaction for music learning by Beste Yuksel et al. received Best Paper Award.
- Beste Yuksel's research on music learning reported in
- IEEE Computer Special Issue on Physiological Computing,
with Erin Solovey as guest co-editor, published October 2015
- Research featured in the Boston Globe (March 3, 2014),
The Times (London),
New York Post,
- Video and article about our research featured in
also on WBUR's Radio Boston
and CCTV America
- CHI 2014 paper on brain-computer interaction by Dan Afergan et al. received Best Paper Honorable Mention Award.
- Dan Afergan's research on brain-computer interfaces reported in
- Evan Peck's research on brain-computer interfaces reported in
ACM Tech News,
- CHI 2012 paper on brain-computer interaction by Erin Solovey et al. received Best Paper Honorable Mention Award.
This work was also covered by
MIT Technology Review,
many other places.
- Comment on future iPads in Huffington Post
- Comment on TV remote controls
[also posted here]
- Still more comments, on the Spark radio show on CBC
[podcast; segment starts around 0:06]
- Some comments on the legacy of Steve Jobs
- Mike Horn's work on tangible programming languages for children,
at the Boston Museum of Science, reported on NECN TV
- Computerworld article
- Elected to ACM CHI Academy 2007
(Photo courtesy of Ben Shneiderman)
Other Recent Research Projects
Courses: Fall 2017
Courses: Spring 2017
- Beste Yuksel, University of San Francisco
- Dan Afergan, Google Inc.
- Evan Peck, Bucknell University
- Erin Solovey, Drexel University
- Audrey Girouard, Carleton University
- Leanne Hirshfield, Syracuse University
- Michael Horn, Northwestern University
- Michael Poor, Baylor University
- Orit Shaer, Wellesley College
- Georgios Christou, European University Cyprus
- Horn-yeu Shiaw, HCI Inc.
- Vildan Tanriverdi, IBM
- Leon Deligiannidis, Wentworth Institute of Technology
- Stephen Morrison, Intersystems
(Group photo courtesy of Dan Afergan; EEG photo courtesy of Beste Yuksel)